In court, defense lawyers are entitled to challenge evidence and that of course applies equally to XRY reports. XRY has been challenged numerous times in criminal courts across the globe, but we are not aware of a single occasion where XRY evidence has been dismissed due to unreliability or doubt about the forensic integrity of the system. For that reason, we believe that XRY is acceptable as evidence in a court of law.
In general, questions about the validity of our tools are most often asked in the early days of product adoption, when users are unfamiliar or do not fully understand the technology very well. As the courts become more familiar with the production of digital evidence from mobile devices, these questions tend to diminish.
In most countries, it is perfectly legitimate to submit the XRY report as a form of evidence. This is most often submitted in the form of an ”exhibit” which is produced by someone (typically the phone examiner) in a sworn witness statement. The statement and exhibit are then submitted as evidence to the court and accepted. The witness statement should record how he or she examined the phone, give evidence of the examiner’s competency and then crucially produce the XRY report as evidence.
The actual format of the XRY report can be either as a printedpaper document, electronic document (e.g., PDF) or the original XRY report displayed via PC. More recently, due to the volume of data and multimedia files found on modern smartphones, it has become preferable to show XRY in its native format in order to play video or audio recordings to the court.
Local courts usually determine which media format they prefer to receive as evidence, however as smartphones containing Gigabytes of data; it is becoming a practical impossibility to produce paper evidence as these reports can often exceed 10,000 pages.
Best evidence rules suggest that forensic reports should always be validated. This can be done by either manually checking the phone against the XRY report to verify the contents in comparison or more often ‘dual tooling’ whereby you use another forensic product to validate the results of the XRY report.
Ultimately, only the criminal courts can make decisions about whether to accept the digital evidence or not for each case, on an individual basis. So ‘court approved’ mobile forensic tools do not exist – but this guidance should assist your court in making an informed decision about whether or not to accept the evidence.